As people we all make decisions everyday, regardless of if they are good or bad. I make decisions for my clients, my family, my household, dinner... For my business. I've made some pretty bad decisions for dinner but some even poorer decisions for my business. One of the worst has been bartering. Don't get me wrong. I'm not harshin' on bartering. It has its place but bartering can be the death of a business.
Hear me out. By definition bartering means:
To trade goods or services without the exchange of money.
Yes, money is the root of all evil but it makes the world go round (could I get anymore cliches in that sentence?). Bartering doesn't pay your mortgage or put food on the table for your cat (I don't have kids so cat is the next best thing. And, yes, I am that crazy cat lady. You can check out my cool Pinterest board on it here. You have to admit that is the cutest thing you ever seen.) .
I've done the barter thing myself. It never works out. It always ends up bad and one party thinks they have been shafted in one way or another. Or you always get those businesses that want to barter something that you never need or never in a million years will use. It is the death of a business because you need cash (and hard work!) to run a business. Do yourself a favor and don't try and convince yourself that bartering is a good idea. It's not. It never is.
I have figured out a solution that works for me.
Solution #1: When people ask me if I barter I say, "Yes. I barter for cash."
Solution #2: I do have a couple of awesome friends that own businesses that I provide time and services for. For free. Those are what I call my pro bono clients. They are one of my clients just like any other and get the same level of service and respect. These are my clients that I'm super passionate about and want to see succeed more than myself. I love helping these guys out and I don't expect anything in return. Nothing. There are times they give me things and I'm cool with that but I never expect anything other their hard work and dedication to be successful because that makes me successful with them. It's not bartering it all. It's giving back to those that you are passionate about.
Do you agree with me that bartering is the death of a business? What are some of the not so great decisions you have made in your business? What do you think is the death of a business?